BJP CMs Modi and Yeddyurappa appeal for calm

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 23 2010, 06:57am hrs
The imminent verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case has set off reactions across the political spectrum. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, made a humble appeal for communal harmony in Gujarat over the verdict. In the last few years Modi has not had the best of relations with the VHP and other members of the Sangh Parivar. The appeal is also being seen as a veiled attempt at cutting these fringe elements of the parivar to size.

In an official release from Gandhinagar, Modi said, My humble appeal to all citizens is that though they would be eagerly expecting the judgement, please do not be swayed by excitement as it will not benefit anyone. Kindly remember that Gujarat has laid to rest for several years the ghost of violence and curfew.

We have tasted the fruits of peace, safety and development, let us not lose that by falling prey to anti-social elements, he said.

He was not the only BJP chief minister to tread with caution on the eve of the Ayodhya verdict. Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa declared that all schools in the state would remain shut on September 24 and 25. The state government wants to ensure that peace is maintained and in view of the fact that the court verdict will elicit strong responses we are playing it safe, said a state official. The CM also declared his intention to hold a dialogue with religious leaders to maintain communal harmony.

While the central leadership of the BJP has remained silent on the matter saying they would react once the verdict out, the action of these two important CMs and leaders of the party makes it clear that a more centrist position in the party has gained pre-eminence.